Somewhat weak plot and action. But pretty good
"Marion 'Cobra' Cobretti" (Sylvester Stallone) is a cop who is not afraid to risk his life to get the bad guy, and comes in as a last resort. He patrols a city with a high crime rate that is in the grip of a serial killer the media has nicknamed the "Night Slasher."
Those involved in the investigation to catch the killer are going nowhere, and "Cobretti" gets involved when he is assigned to protect the only surviving witness (Brigitte Nielsen) to one of the killer's murder. Using his police skills, "Cobretti" is one step ahead of the others, and figures out some points of the case before the others. However, his suggestions are pushed to the side by certain members of the team who do not like the way he handles things.
Now, "Cobretti" and his partner (Reni Santoni) must protect the witness, with little help from a female officer who, in fact, is connected to the killer on a personal level.
This movie is fairly good, but is pretty toned down after the scene that "Cobretti" is introduced in. There is some good action scenes though, but they are spaced out from each other to give the audience a pretty good breather. However, these scenes between the action failed at giving the characters some character development.
I was not sure if "Gonzales" (Santoni) was "Cobretti's" partner before "Cobretti" was called in to protect the witness or not. It was pretty obvious that they respected each other more than "Cobretti" respected others on the force who always confronted him on his ways in doing his job, especially one vocal one in particular. There was also very little character development with the villains, who the police believe is only one person due to one using a very distinct weapon to slash victims.
One character that should have been developed more, not to mentioned had a bigger role than she did, was the mole. This character had the least amount of lines, and never interacted with the witness, "Cobretti" or "Gonzales" after being assigned to help protect the witness. I would have liked to have seen this character more developed, and attempting to steer the others away from her as a suspect when "Cobretti" figured out there is a mole in the department.
The action scenes are pretty well done. With only two that are real graphic in comparison with the others. We get a good car chase, with gunplay on the highway, the lead villain visiting the witness in the hospital with intent to kill her, and a final confrontation between the villain and "Cobretti" near the end of the film. That final scene between our hero and the villain is the only time the two have any interaction since the general public is unaware of "Cobretti" protecting the witness. I would have liked to have seen some scenes where they meet eye-to-eye, with the villain having a "cat me if you can" attitude before escaping.
The acting is surprisingly good in this movie. Stallone portayed his character as a jerk only when needed, and allowed his softer side to show. I liked the interaction between "Cobretti" and "Gonzales", who would tease each other as if they knew one another for awhile. The interaction between Stallone and Nielsen, who married some time after this film, was also good, but not great thanks to the script not being that great.
I personally would have liked to have seen more of a love subplot between "Cobretti" and the witness. You didn't really seeing them glancing at each other until the two ended up in bed before the climatic final battle. I also would have liked to seen more from the villains and supporting cast that worked with "Cobretti" and "Gonzales".
The motive for the killings are never investigated by "Cobretti" or "Gonzales". In fact, I don't think any of those involved in the investigation came up with a probable motive that was proven pretty much wrong by one of the lead characters as their investigation slowly lead them to the villains. It takes the lead villain's dialogue in his final confrontation with "Cobretti" to explain their motive. Not once is the audience given even a hit as to the motive for the killings anywhere in the movie.
One thing that sticks out is product placement. I have no problem with product placement, but they made it pretty obvious when you see the Coca-Cola and Pepsi logos all over the place, or when a character is drinking a beer or soda with the logo facing the camera. You even had "Cobretti" turning on a TV in his apartment just as a Toys 'R' Us Christmas commercial is starting as if the TV was programed to play it as the set switched on. Good product placement should make it less obvious than this movie made them. Heck, even products that were in the grocery store at the begining of the movie happened to fall to the floor with logos facing the camera.
Another thing that is seen a lot of is the cliche of the hero spouting one-liners. Stallone had some good one-liners through the entire movie, but none have gone down as memorable lines in movie history.
With some good performances from the main cast, this movie is pretty watchable. I would not put it on your Must See List though. If you like good action films, this one should go on your To See List, but don't put it high on your list considering action scenes are spead out a bit too much if you ask me. The movie gave too much of a breather for the audience between action scenes in my opinion.
I would have to give this movie a B-minus overall. Catch it on TV, or the On Demand section of your local cable company. I personally watched it on my cable company's website, which has movies and TV shows much like Hulu does.